Hide Page

For urgent assistance call Triple Zero 000 or for confidential support and information call Safe Steps 1800 015 188

Keri's Story

Keri
I recently told my children that if I had one wish, it would be for all children to grow up feeling safe and loved. This includes children with GLBTIQ parents, as Family Violence does not discriminate.

Family violence doesn't discriminate. Not on sexuality, race, religion, age, income or professional status: no group is immune.

As a feminist and lesbian mother, I never thought I would find myself in an abusive situation. I have never experienced Family Violence before, but found myself in a situation of having to flee my home with 2 young children, escape to a women's refuge and get police support to protect us.

My little children were totally dependent on me to advocate for their long term safety and wellbeing. In my role as their advocate, Despite acting on the advice of our Family Therapist to separate in order to protect the children from my partner's violence, enormous support from police, friends and the Children's Court, I wasn't believed by key professionals in the journey. My attempts seemed futile. I wonder if this was a gender bias - if my partner had been a man, perhaps we would have been afforded more protection?

After separating, I felt immediate relief of being out of such a terrible situation, and was much happier. I relished being free to care for my children in a safe home without adult aggression - it was so much more peaceful. Since separating, I have been free to improve all domains of my life - I have a rewarding career, and a home filled with music, friends, family, laughter, and love.

The rates of Family Violence/ Intimate Partner violence amongst same- sex couples is similar to heterosexual couples. However, many gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) people can encounter less professional support and the level of legal protection and access to Domestic Violence services, as we are less likely to be believed when seeking help.

Many have already been isolated from family supports, so are further disadvantaged.  As increasing numbers of children are growing up in families with GLBTIQ parents, we need to remember that these children are just at risk of Family Violence as children with heterosexual parents.

I recently told my children that if I had one wish, it would be for all children to grow up feeling safe and loved. This includes children with GLBTIQ parents, as Family Violence does not discriminate.